Ephesians 1 is packed with so much. It’s pretty full on and it really emphasises the blessing it is to know Christ. It tells us that our identity is in Jesus, and this was the plan before we even came to believe.
God has blessed us with everything we need. This is some of the things that Ephesians 1 tells us we have received from God:
- adoption into sonship
- glorious grace
- forgiveness of sins
- the knowledge of the mystery of his will
- the message of his truth
- the gospel of salvation
- an inheritance
- great power
So verse 3 is not wrong when it says God “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing” (emphasis mine). God has truly given us so much through His Son Jesus Christ.
It also tells us of our identity in Him, having been chosen even as creation was happening. I really like the way The Message puts it:
Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planing this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
I think it’s amazing to think that He took pleasure in planning our adoption and redemption. Of course, the pain and suffering Jesus experienced as a result was terrible and unfathomable. But to think that the love the Father had for us was so great that He took pleasure in redeeming us and knowing that we would be His. What a wonderful thought.
This chapter also talks about our identity as members of the church. Despite the fact that it often seems that the church is sidelined and ignored, it isn’t. Verse 22 and 23 tell us that Jesus is the head over everything, as as the church is his body, that is higher than anything else on earth to. The Message version again puts it nicely:
The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body. in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
This reminds us that as citizens of God’s kingdom and members of Christ’s body we have way more authority and power than we often remember. It also reminds us that we have a very high calling and should take this role seriously indeed.
So I will end with an adapted version of verses 18-19, which is a prayer.
I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.